USP Archive

USP Spotlights: Carlyn Wei

The cast of Union Street Player’s next production, Morning’s at Seven, is a wonderful blend of old and new faces. The undisputed rookie of the cast is Pella native, Carlyn Wei who portrays Cora Swanson in the show.

"This is my first full length play since I was in A Christmas Carol in second grade – though I won’t tell you how long ago that was!" Carlyn said. "I did take an acting class at Central College this fall and performed some short skits for the class. Once I did that, I knew I wanted to be on the stage!"

Carlyn’s connection to Central College is through the Study Abroad Office, where she works as Office Manager. She brings experience to her work with Central’s international study program. She lived in China for four years and is fairly fluent in Chinese. She now lives in Oskaloosa. She has one son who also loves theatre.

So how has her first experience with USP and community theatre been?

"I’ve been very lucky to work with such great people in this production! They’re all enormously talented, funny and helpful. I’ve learned so much from them and would do it again in a heartbeat!" she said. "This is a very funny show. Everyone has an aunt, uncle, or cousin who’s just a bit odd. Now imagine that all of your relatives are a bit strange and you have the characters in this play! These people are family so we love them, forgive their mistakes and learn from them them ‘where we are’ in life."

Tom Vander Well, who directs Morning’s at Seven, is impressed with Carlyn’s work on stage. "Carlyn is a quintessential Community Theater success story," he said. "Here she was going about her life having never been on stage before, then she heard this whisper in her heart telling her she could do it. She took a step of faith and everyone is rewarded for it. I can see how much fun she’s having. USP is blessed to have her in the cast, and the audience is going to love her portrayal of Cora."

Performances of Morning’s at Seven will be at USP’s stage
home – the Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium in the Pella Community Center.
The Community Center is located at 712 Union Street in Pella, two
blocks south of the town square and next to the Pella Public Library.

Thu Feb 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Fri Feb 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Sat Feb 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Sun Feb 25 at 2:00 p.m. MATINEE!

Tickets are $7.00 for Adults, $6.00 for Balcony, & $5.00 for students and children. Click here for information on where to buy tickets.

USP Archive

Morning’s at Seven’s Ambitious Set

Union Street Player’s production of the comedy Morning’s at Seven includes one of the most ambitious sets ever constructed by the community theatre. Designed by Assistant Director, Anne McCullough-Kelly, the set is taking shape thanks to the faithful set construction of Jim Palmer and Pat Moriarity.

The hilarious comedy takes place in the back yards of two houses in a small midwest town c.1939. McCullough-Kelly did research on the internet to find home designs for the period along with corresponding colors. She was amazed to find that most homes of that period were pre-fabricated and sold through catalogs like Sears and Roebuck. The set crew has constructed the backs of the houses, which reach well above the curtains of the Joan Kuyper-Farver Auditorium. The set also includes a stump, a tree and two hedges – which provide staging challenges for the crew.

Plan now to see the fantastic set and attend this heart-warming comedy. Performances will be February 22-24 at 7:00 p.m. and a Sunday matinee on February 25th at 2:00 p.m.

USP Archive

“Morning’s at Seven” is Under Construction

Union Street Player’s next show, Morning’s at Seven, is officially under construction! The show has just finished the first full week of rehearsals, Act 1 is blocked and work has begun on the set. The Joan Kuyper Farver Auditorium stage will soon be transformed into the back yards of two midwest homes in 1939. Tom Vander Well (The Christmas Post, The Dominie’s Wife), who last directed Barefoot in the Park for USP is excited about the show. "We’re excited to have a great mix of USP veterans and newcomers in both the cast and crew," Vander Well said.

The cast includes familiar faces on the USP stage like Arvin Van Zante (Our Town, The Fantasticks), Mark Moreland (The Christmas Post, Yes Virginia), Doug DeWolf (The Christmas Post, Our Town), Marty Racheter (Barefoot in the Park, Steel Magnolias), Shelley Buhrow (Our Town, South Pacific director), and Lori Pearson (Christmas Carol, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory). Jamie Kacur and Sherm Van Zee who made their USP debuts in The Christmas Post are also in the cast along with newcomer Carlyn Wei.

The crew for the show also reflect a mix of old and new faces. Anne McCullough-Kelly, who made her USP debut in The Christmas Post, has signed on as Assistant Director and Set Designer for Morning’s at Seven. Wendy Vander Well (The Christmas Post director, The Dominie’s Wife) is lending assistance with directing and costuming. Michele Thompson Jim Palmer (The Christmas Post, Our Town)  is heading up set construction. Danny Day (Our Town, Yes, Virgina) and Pat Moriarity (The Christmas Post, The Dominie’s Wife) have been lending a hand with the set.

USP Archive

Morning’s at Seven Cast is Announced

Union Street Players is proud to announce the cast of the upcoming production of "Morning’s at Seven" by Paul Osborne.

Theodore Swanson                    Mark Moreland
Cora Swanson                           Carlyn Wei
Aaronetta Gibbs                        Marty Racheter
Carl Bolton                                Sherman Van Zee
Ida Bolton                                 Shelly Buhrow
Homer Bolton                            Doug DeWolf
Myrtle Brown                             Jamie Kacur
David Crampton                        Arvin Van Zante
Esther Crampton                       Lori Pearson

Directed by Tom Vander Well
Assistant Directors: Anne McCullough-Kelly; Wendy Vander Well
Stage Manager: Michele Thompson

Performances will be February 22-24 at 7:00 p.m. and February 25 at 2:00 p.m.

USP Archive

A Prayer for Our “Piano Man”

It’s come to our attention that Mike Atkins, USP’s capable and faithful pianist for The Christmas Post discovered a malignant lump in his body shortly after the show ended. Mike’s wife Cyndi (who played a shopper in the show and put together the show’s program) relates that Mike has been to Mayo clinic and is waiting for some test results. They are praying that the tests reveal a treatable option. Cyndi gave us permission to post this and ask the USP community to join them with our prayers.